Washington Horror Blog

SEMI-FICTIONAL CHRONICLE of the EVIL THAT INFECTS WASHINGTON, D.C. To read Prologue and Character Guide, please see www.washingtonhorrorblog.com, updated 6/6//2017. Follow Washington Water Woman on Twitter @HorrorDC ....

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Rearranging

Sebastian L'Arche was back at the White House because Bo's narcolepsy had returned. The White House butler, Clio, told L'Arche that the dog was rumored to be passing out every time he heard the word "election". And yesterday somebody swore that at the mention of President Obama's 3rd year anniversary since being elected, Bo had actually run around the room three times barking wildly, then passed out. "Canine narcolepsy is a tricky thing," said L'Arche, squatting down next to the Portuguese water dog.

"That's what he said last time," whispered Ferguson to his twin sister Regina. Clio gave the pre-schoolers a stern look, and they knew what that meant.

L'Arche began whispering into Bo's ear, and Bo responded with some face-licking. We have to have elections, whispered L'Arche. The alternative is dictatorship. Bo shook his head vigorously, then put his head between his paws. I know the rich can manipulate the elections, but they can't control everything. Bo buried his head under his paws, and his tail started twitching spasmodically. Everybody has to make compromises. There's still hope. Look at me! L'Arche pulled the paws off of Bo's eyes. He needs you to be strong. He needs you.

On the other side of Bo, Regina tugged at Ferguson's hands, which he was holding over his eyes, and whispered, "He needs you to be strong!"

"Reggie! Fergie!" Clio hissed at her children.

L'Arche stood up abruptly. "Bo's OK now, but he needs to get outside more. He spends too much time in here."

"Alright," said Clio, "I'll let them know."

"And they need to get out more, too," said L'Arche, pointing at the dastardly duo, who were now whispering (in their secret twin language) to the gnats fluttering around a ficus tree in the corner. "There are things happening here which they need less exposure to."

"Politics?" asked the butler. "They're never around that." She turned on the DustBuster she never went anywhere without and sucked the gnats out of the air.

"Other things," said L'Arche, who knew that the twins spent time talking to the White House ghosts. He pulled the kids away from the dog. "Every day I want you to do five nice things for your mother," he said. He pulled up fingers one-by-one on Regina's hand, then Ferguson's hand. "One-two-three-four-five. Five nice things. Every day." Then he patted each one on their heads, with little hope this might take for even a week.

Over in the West Wing, Golden Fawn had finally gotten into the White House. It had taken months, but through a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend, here she was--part of a group of Oklahoma Cherokee fundraisers getting a private tour. She knew they were not going to see President Obama, but that was not what she had come for. The tour guide--bored with describing the same pieces of furniture and dubious trivia over and over and over again--was asking them if their families had fared alright in the Oklahoma earthquakes overnight. Their voices faded into background noise as Golden Fawn clutched her medicine bag and chanted in her head. Gradually she started seeing them--not in front of her, but in her mind's eye. Spirits. She held her breath, waiting for them to speak, but they refused to speak to her, instead making menacing gestures at her with claw-like hands. She furtively took out the amber-encased cricket she had possessed since her grandmother, Tripping Girl, had placed it in Golden Fawn's medicine bag at age seven. A body can be trapped in the wrong place forever, Golden Fawn recited in her head, just as her grandmother had done. But the spirit can fly away. Fly away! A few of the ghosts were deeply moved by Golden Fawn's strong magic, and they departed instantly, but others lingered, shaking their fists at her. She tucked the amulet behind a sofa cushion, where its power would glow for three more days--until the twins found it and brought it back to their bedroom to join all the other magic talismans (good and evil) they had collected in the shoe boxes they kept under their beds.

A couple miles to the north, Charles Wu had an amber-encased cricket of his own in his pocket--a good luck charm his mother had recently mailed him from Hong Kong. He was sitting in the back of Musette, currently presiding over an empty private room he had rented for karaoke because his new contact--"Slow Man"--had insisted on it. (Slow Man would not share secrets with somebody unless they had bared their soul first.) Wu sipped his Shanghai Lily cocktail and paged through the song listings. A quarter-hour late, Slow Man finally entered the room. (He was small, thin, and dressed all in yellow, and Wu finally realized where the name had come from.) They shook hands, and Wu started to speak, but Slow Man threw his hand up. "You have to sing first," Slow Man said, sitting down on a bench. Wu returned to the song book, frantically trying to find a choice that would not make him look like a total fool. Slow Man took a sip of his Lemontini, then pulled a toy terrier out of his coat's inside pocket and put the dog in his lap. He smiled weirdly at Wu, who abruptly decided to do one of the Japanese songs because singing in bad Japanese would probably not be as embarrassing as bungling English rock and roll. The two spies stared silently at each other, waiting for the lyrical display to begin.

Back near the White House, Golden Fawn's group was now heading over to check out the Occupy DC tent people in McPherson Square. They found a big commotion near a blue tent, where social worker Hue Nguyen was trying to persuade Freddy Ritchings (AKA Brother Divine of the International Peace Movement) it was time to return to the Arlington group home for the mentally challenged. "Sister, sister, sister--I am no drifter! My place in space is apace with the human race!"

"Freddy, please, everybody misses you," said Nguyen. She had even brought house pet Millie to try to woo him back, and the enormous brown dog was dutifully licking Brother Divine's hand.

"History has been seized because many of us believed! The times they are a-changing, and the souls are rearranging!"

"If you're not there when Dr. Schwartz comes by on Monday, you know what that means!" (By then Ritchings would have been off his meds for three days, and the psychologist would probably have Ritchings sedated and taken away in an ambulance.)

"I'll be there to see the good doctor! I will not fail you, my dear proctor!"

"Will you at least take this?" asked Nguyen, handing Ritchings a small envelope with his pills.

"Of course I will, my heart be still!" said Ritchings, who emptied the pills into his hand and let Millie lick them up. "Together we heal! The wellness is real!" (Nguyen groaned and pulled at Millie's leash to get her home for a dose of ipecac.)

Sebastian L'Arche had also exited the White House and was milling around the Occupy DC crowd waiting for Becky Hartley to come by in her pickup truck for the trip to Potomac Manors, Maryland. "I can't wait to see this cow tipping over!" exclaimed Hartley, as L'Arche climbed in. "Bovine narcolepsy! The fun never ends!" She handed L'Arche her notebook so that he could read what she had written down from the phone call with Mega Moo's owner. "That's a really rich area, too," Hartley said. "You work your magic on the cow, and we might get referrals for a lot of rich people." L'Arche gave her a dejected look. "To raise money for the central mission! Don't worry, I never forget about the central mission!"

Ghost Dennis--who had recently floated out of the White House--caught this conversation from the pickup truck going by. The central mission. What's that? A couple of The Shackled then approached Ghost Dennis to explain the central mission. Maybe I should go back? Maybe I can help with the central mission? The Shackled told Ghost Dennis that the White House was a tough place to fight the good fight. I'm ready! exclaimed Ghost Dennis, and back he went. Change we can believe in....

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